There are great books and books in which we like only certain parts. I personally believe you can find something good in almost any book. Then, there are those sometimes untimely, sometimes purely timeless sentences that remain imprinted in your brain and you like to go back to and read and re-read. Oh, the purity of this moment when it is you and the masterity of the words screaming at you! So, back in the days I’d copy some quotes from books that I had a profound moment at time with. Nowadays, I highlight on my Kindle so the collection has become somewhat scattered. Anyways, here is a peek at 20 of my favorite moments.It feels good now to go back, re-read them and also remember where I were in my life, how I felt, what I hoped for, what I feared.
1) “And during the course of each day, his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or convince others — the only thing worse than being sad if for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad. Because his life had unlimited potential for happiness, insofar as it was an empty white room. He would fall asleep with his heart at the foot of his bed, like some domesticated animal that was no part of him at all. And each morning he would wake with it again in the cupboard of his ribcage, having become a little heavier, a little weaker, but still pumping. And by mid-afternoon he was again overcome with the desire to be somewhere else, someone else, someone else somewhere else. I am not sad.” (Everything is illuminated, .J.S. Foer)
2) “For every man in the world functions to the best of his ability, and no one does less than his best, no matter what he may think about it.” (The Pearl, John Steinbeck)
3) “I began to formulate a new law describing the relationship of protection to despondency. A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.” (Travels with Charley in search of America, John Steinbeck)
4) “My return caused only confusion and uneasiness. Although they could not say it, my old friends wanted me gone so that I could take my proper place in the pattern of remembrance — and I wanted to go for the same reason. Tom Wolfe was right. You can’t go home again because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of memory.” (Travels with Charley, J. Steinbeck)
5) “John, there is a woman so great with love — she scares me. Makes me afraid an’ mean.” (The Grapes of Wrath, J. Steinbeck)
6) “What I know is, you have a better chance in life — of surviving it — if you tolerate loss well; manage not to be a cynic through it all; to subordinate, as Ruskin implied, to keep proportion, to connect the unequal things into a whole that preserves the good, even if admittedly good is often not simple to find. We try, as my sister said. We try. All of us. We try.” (Canada- Richard Ford)
7) “What Beatrice has done with her face, actually, was what any plain girl could do. She had overlaid it with dignity, suffering, intelligence, and a piquant dash of bitchiness.” (The sirens of Titan, K. Vonnegut)
8) “It was not the thought that I was so unloved that froze me. I had taught myself to do without love. It was not the thought that God was cruel that froze me. I had taught myself never to expect anything from Him. What froze me was the fact that I had absolutely no reason to move in any direction. What had made me move through so many dead and pointless years was curiosity. Now even that flickered out.” (Mother Night, K. Vonnegut)
9)” That’s the problem with drinking, I thought as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens, you drink in an attempt to forget it; if something good happens, you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.” (Women, C. Bukowski)
10) “I knew in my bones that the love we give and receive is all that matters and all that is remembered. Suffering disappers; love remains…
..”Good parents, Jonas Salk told me, give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what’s been taught them.” (Chicken soup for the soul)
11) “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt” (Slaughterhouse five, K. Vonnegut)
12) “He knew I loved him enough to bear with the not knowing.” (Into the Wild)
13) “No medicine cures what happiness cannot” (Of love and other demons, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
14) “She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.” (Chronicles of a death foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
15) “Motionless, she waits, staring at him with the whole weight of a life that has no future to it.” (Ignorance, Milan Kundera)
16) “For if a lover’s face survives emblazened on your heart, the world is still your home.” (My name is Red, Orhan Pamuk)
17) “But my soul was serene and my heart was at peace…
“Somewhere in the world, a home awaited us.
“If pain must come, may it come quickly because I have a life to live and I need to live it in the best way possible. If he has to make a choice, may he make it now. Then I will either way for him or forget him. Waiting is painful, forgetting is painful; but not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering.” (By the river Piedra I sat down and wept, P.Coehlo)
18) “From that time on, she had no peace but she was careful about ay gesture that may betray her grief.
…”She knew that it would not be easy to submit to his miserliness, or the foolishness of his premature appearance of age, or his maniacal sense of order, or his eagerness to ask for everything and give nothing at all in return, but despite all this, no man was better company because no other man in the world was so in need of love.
“For that was what he needed: to let his soul escape through his mouth.” (Love in the time of a cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
19) “A person who longs to leave the place where he lives is an unhappy one.” (The Unbearable lightness of being, M. Kundera)
20) “She went to the movies a lot because she didn’t like going to dances. I told her I’d be glad to go to the movies with her anytime she was free. She said she’d rather go alone. I asked her if it was because she felt sad. She said that it was. I told her I wasn’t particularly cheerful either.” (The Joke, M. Kundera)